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Midterm Questions: Data Protection

Free «Midterm Questions: Data Protection» Essay Sample

Question 1

Federal law originates from the Constitution and is created by the country’s federal government giving the Congress the power to create the statutes that govern specific limited purposes, such as the interstate commerce. The federal government is formed when such politically related units as provinces or statutes join to form a federation whereby they surrender some of their powers and sovereignty to the central government and reserve other limited powers. When an entity is subjected to a data breach, the federal security breach notification law also referred to as data breach notification laws notifies its customers and other related parties and consecutively compensates for the injuries result because of the breach. Besides, the law also permits delayed notification in the situations where a law enforcement agency identifies a need for a criminal investigation (Tehan, 2009).

Preemption of the data breach notification law refers to the establishment of a national single protection and notification standard that would replace many laws at the states level.

The decision to preempt the law would beneficial to the organizations that suffer security breach since the complicated and lengthy process of looking into the notification requirements of 47 states to proceed with notifications would be eliminated. The national standard would interfere with the constitutional role of the state legislators who spearhead innovation for the nation.

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With the rapid developments in technology, limited consumer protection is likely to be experienced thus exposing the customers’ data to such emerging threats as account hacking that may result in massive losses and damage of reputation in the competitive world (Axelrod, Bayuk, & Schutzer, 2009). In addition, the national standard would also negatively interfere with the advanced data protection measures taken at the states level, for example, the use of biometric data log in for online accounts and medical information.

Question 2

Rapid technological developments and the need to meet security threats have led to the use of digital signatures, which is a mathematical technique used in the validation of the authenticity of a digital document or message. The signature is equivalent to a hand signature with equal legal significance and it solves the problem of impersonating and disturbing digital communication. Besides, the signature offers the assurance of originality, identity, and informed consent by the signer (Laborde, 2010).


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Encryption is one of the techniques used in data security and involves the use of a digital signature but only if one has a digital ID or digital certificate. The certificate is used to encrypt files so that only the intended recipient can access them. The digital ID also facilitates the use of the digital signature on a document ensuring that it is received in the original state. In addition, the digital certificate consists of a private and public key whereby the public key can be shared with other people while the private key is confidential. The keys are the combination of letters and numbers that have a proper algorithm and a unique identity. Where a document is run through a public key algorithm, an encrypted document is obtained. In decrypting a document in order to see its original form, the private key is used; therefore, people with the public key cannot access the original document without authorization (Mason, 2012).

Question 3

Protection of information is vital as the unauthorized dissemination of the personal or business information may result in adverse consequences. The Privacy Act of 1974 establishes a code that governs the collection, use, and dissemination of personal information that is maintained in a system of records by the federal agency (Kearney, 2013). The system of records refers to the group of documents that is kept by a particular agency and can be retrieved using the names of the individual or other specific identifiers. Under the Privacy Act, the disclosure of the information concerning an individual without their written consent is considered illegal unless it is in line with the 12 provided exceptions, which include data used for administrative, statistical, and law enforcement purposes (Metheny, 2012).

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Data brokers are commercial based entities involved in the collection, analysis, and selling of consumer’s information for various purposes, such as marketing of products and prevention of financial related frauds. The federal government uses the data brokers in most of the government activities and offers them great financial assistance (Metheny, 2012). The Privacy Act provides that the data brokers may make information accessible to the owner and provide guidance in order to correct the errors in the information. The Act also states that the data brokers should provide a notice to an individual of any adverse action by another party, for example, concerning the information in the databases. The offering of such notices builds confidence and trust between the citizens and the data brokers.

Question 4

A copyright gives the author of an original creative work the exclusive rights to control its used, for example, the making of copies of the work or creation of other works derived from it. Plagiarism refers to the utilization of another person’s work without crediting the author; thus, the user lies to the recipients about the originality of the content. Nevertheless, not all uses of copyrighted material are considered plagiarism since some are legal and ethical and are referred to as “fair use.” Fair use is a guideline in the copyright law that allows a limited use of the copyrighted material without permission of the owner or author (Eisner & Vicinus, 2008).These guidelines make it possible for people to use published works in projects, reports, and research papers without violating the copyright laws.

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In addition, the circumstances when fair use can be claimed depend on various factors including the nature and purpose of use: if the use is not for financial gain but for nonprofit educational purposes, it is considered fair use. The nature of the work is also examined: the published work is considered fair use (Martin,2013). Besides, the substantiality and amount of the work are considered with the use of smaller amounts of work regarded as fair use. Moreover, all factors of fair use are closely associated with crediting the author. Thus, for a person to claim fair use of copyrighted material, the rules of attribution must be observed to avoid plagiarism.

Question 5

Digital Rights Management is an approach used to counter online piracy of digital media with its primary purpose being the prevention of unauthorized distribution of digital media as well as the elimination of the ways customers can copy the purchased content. Digital Rights Management is implemented through the establishment of the codes that prevent copying, restrict the number of devices the media can be installed on, and specify the time when the media can be accessed.

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The anti-circumvention rule; Chapter 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 makes the breaking of security controls of copyrighted works illegal and subjects to penalties (Agnew, 2008). In the long run, it would negatively affect libraries in accessing, archiving, and lending valuable resources. The rule would also affect the users of the library who legitimately use the available resources. Concerning the detriments, the library of Congress in its 2000 rule issued various classes of works that need to be exempted and revised every 3 years, one of which is the literary works, such as databases and computer programs that are protected by the access control mechanisms and fail to provide access because of malfunction, obsolescence, or damage. In addition, the people with vision or print disability were also exceptions from the rules and could access such works as e-books via screen readers or text-braille devices. Such exemptions ensure that all people are treated equally and sustainable use of the library resources is achieved by optimally using available resources.

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Question 6

Electronic voting also known as e-voting refers to the use of computer-aided systems in the process of casting and counting the votes (Volamer, 2013). The process involves a broad range of the Internet services from the transmission of data to the full automated online voting. The use of electronic voting has many advantages compared to the manual system including the increased speed in the counting of votes, the reduced cost of employing staff, and the ability to provide the disabled people who in most cases fail to use the manual voting system with access (Zissis & Lekkas, 2014). Nevertheless, the electronic voting system is associated with electronic fraud whereby a hacker can access the system and interfere with its functionalities favoring a particular candidate. In most electronic fraud cases, hackers reset the chip to cast abnormally many votes, which influences the results of the vote counting process.

The hacking of an election leads to integrity loss as it results in one of the contestants winning unfairly. Therefore, the overseers of elections should take such measures as encrypting the results making it impossible to change them. In addition, ensuring that the voting machines are not connected to the Internet when not in use could also assist in the reduction of electronic fraud. In the case of Johnny and Sally, it is hard for Sally to determine whether Johnny has changed the votes as agreed. That is why she is reluctant to pay him. Johnny’s suing Sally for breaching their contract would probably lead to both of them facing accusations of election hacking and cheating. Their payment agreement is based on an illegal act; thus, Sally cannot be compelled by law to pay Johnny for the performance of an illegal act.

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